10 fly tips for traveling athletes
It may be the end of vacation season, but this can mean the beginning of competition season and a vigorous travel schedule for athletes. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or flying for the first time, travel habits can make or a break a performance. To reduce the risk of travel jeopardizing your performance, try these simple travel tips.
Get fit to fly
Workout prior to your flight. Any movement, increases both blood flow and use of fuel stores prior to sitting. A combo of strength and cardio is best, but a good run works too. A workout also helps you relax in-flight.
Refuel post workout
A more substantial meal is best done early; close to workout and further from flight time. This refuels your system and lends time to digestion. Flying can impact balance of gut flora, so if you take a pro-biotic definitely maintain or add some additional supplements while traveling.
Hydrate pre-plane ride
Hydrate really well before boarding, and you’ll be starting off on the right foot. This way, if you happen to doze off you’ve bought some time to do so without having to wake up to drink. If possible, remember to bring a water bottle and fill-up at the new filtered water fountains available in most airports. This choice provides you with cleaner water, and the earth with less plastic waste. A win-win :)
Read mags and books
Yes, screens are a convenience. Similar to the impact they have on your sleep-patterns however, they can distort your adaptation to a time-zone change. Reading paperbacks will allow you to feel either alert or tired, more naturally.
Hand write instead of type
This is a great time to write goals, or review some mental processes that you wish to endure in training or competition. Handwriting builds different neurological connections than just typing. It also enhances memory recall, because you are truly creating something, brain to paper, from scratch. So with a busy schedule, it is advantageous to use the downtime on the plane wisely, and write.
Block the noise
Throw in some earplugs. It may sound un-tough, but it is actually super smart. The noise on the plane, although very denounced after takeoff, is actually very damaging overtime. Ear plugging may also protect from crystal distortion, something theorized as one cause of vertigo.
Plug into tunes
Step on flight with your favorite playlist on-hand, because music can be the catalyst to everything good from enhancing mood, to decreasing stress. It is best to wait until the middle to latter part of the flight to plug-in. Then the dreaded lag time, especially at the end of long flights, seems fly by.
Plan stretch time
This is important for so many reasons. One reason in particular, is that plane flights can cause swelling and stiffness. Getting up, moving, and stretching can decrease the chances of fluids pooling in unwanted places.
Think quick logic: if you are dehydrated, physiologically your body is going to sense that it is in a state of stress. This is the last state you want to be in pre-comp. This is also the best time to prevent all the additional unwanted side effects of a long flight; headache, stomach distress, nervousness, and insomnia. Let water assist; before you touch ground, chug.
Exercise post landing
This is the golden ticket to feel better sooner than later. The more you move post landing, the faster you will acclimate to the local time, temperature, and believe it or not, altitude. So do not let the landing get you down, “takeoff” and move.
Enjoy your trip ~